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Costain cheers as order book hits £2.6bn mark

CONSTRUCTION group Costain is celebrating a 30 per cent rise in forward orders to £2.6bn thanks to transport, utility and local authority work.

Costain said 2010 prospects were uncertain, but its order book included more than £850m of work this year, better than at this time last year.

The group is winning utility, nuclear, road and waste deals from the likes of the Highways Agency and water firms Severn Trent and United Utilities.

It was preferred bidder on projects worth more than £400m and had more than £100m in cash.

Costain said final quarter trading and in 2009 as a whole met hopes.

Chief executive Andrew Wyllie said it expected customers to continue major investment schemes despite tough economic conditions.

“We have a significantly increased order book, a strong cash position and an ongoing rigorous management of costs,” he said.